China State IP Office has lately issued a draft amendment to Patent Examination Guidelines intended for upgrading preliminary examination, which is open for public opinion till March 18, 2013. Comments and suggestions in writing are welcome by SIPO via:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 010-62083620
- c/o Division II, Department of Treaties and Laws
6 Xitucheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing Post code: 100088
This draft amendment was initiated in early 2012 for the improvement of granting of utility model and design, specifically to Sections 11 & 13 of Chapter II and Sections 8 & 11 of Chapter III under Part I. The amendment proposal is that the wording "...generally does not determine on search", "...determine on the information... obtained not through search" should be deleted to facilitate the finding of prior art/design in the preliminary examination rather than to suffocate the channels to acquire prior art/design or conflicting application traces. Likewise, the wording "...shall not be examined through search in general" should be deleted in the event of dual patenting for identical inventions-creations as prescribed in Art. 9 of Patent Law, to least inhibit information discovery.
The 2010 edition of the Implementing Regulations of China's Patent Law has tackled in Art. 44 the novelty and practicability issues of utility model, as well as conflict issues of industrial designs to properly enlarge the scope of a preliminary examination.